Dawg Blog - Apple Cup

It's Apple Cup week! Whether you are a Washington or Washington State fan, it's that time where you get to talk trash to the other side of the state and wear your colors like your life depended on it. Who is going to win? Will a lacerated liver be the difference between victory and defeat at Century Link Field? Will either fanbases have functioning livers by the end of the game?

Eric Dore:
6:56 pm

Austin Seferian-Jenkins Tuesday Quotes

On if he's had disappointing games like the OSU one before: "Oh yeah, tons of times.  It's happened before where you've had a tough loss or you drop a ball where you think you really should have caught it and it could have changed the game.  But it happens, no one's perfect, the only one who is perfect is God and I know I'm not him."


On what the Apple Cup means to him: "It's a really fun rivalry, everyone in the state watches, everyone in the state is really passionate about it and it's a great game for everyone."


On if he knew Sankey well during the recruiting process: "Yeah I talked to him during the recruiting process when we were going to decide where we were going to go."


On if he helped recruit Sankey: "I talked to him the whole time until he decided to be a Husky.  I wanted him to be a Dawg and I'm happy he became a Dawg and the rest is history."


On if verbal commitments mean anything: "It's recruiting.  Nothing is official and nothing is guaranteed until someone signs on the dotted line.  People saying verbal word is great, but that's not the nature of the beast now.  In a perfect world when people said something they would do it.  That goes from college football recruiting to every day life and that stuff doesn't happen.  If you make a big deal about someone giving their word to go to a different school, things happen, people have changes of mind and people need to respect people changing their mind and signing on the dotted line.  Once you sing on the dotted line then it's official."


On if this feels like a nasty rivalry: "I don't personally smack talk I just go out there and play.  I don't think anyone else is about that.  We're just about going out there playing and having a good time.  They're Wazzu and it's a rivalry game, but personally it's another game.  We're going to practice like it's another game and prepare like it's another game."


On how the team has responded since Saturday: "24 hr rule, move on.  You can't press rewind and change the game.  All we can do is get better for this week and get ready for Wazzu and fix the mistakes that we had."

Talk about it here.

Eric Dore:
6:35 pm

Kasen Williams Tuesday Quotes

On practicing in the pouring-down rain: "It's fun.  Any time you come out here you got to take these opportunities and work on your game.  A lot of people come out here and start pouting because it's raining but this might be how it is Saturday so you got to get used to catching the ball now so that in the game it's second nature."


On his first Apple Cup: "I'm really excited for the game, I have some dudes I used to play with on Wazzu so it's going to be a real good atmosphere and I'm excited for it to be at Century Link.  It's going to be one remembered for a long time."


On who he knows on Wazzu: "Gino Simone, Nolan Smith, Casey Locker, and Halliday."


On if it will fell weird to play the game at CLINK: "For me because I haven't been in a game, I don't really know what the feeling is.  For it to be at Century Link I feel like it's going to be a neutral site and I feel like it's going to be half and half, similar to how the bowl game is going to be.  That's going to be cool to get used to because I've never really been in a game like that."


On if he got banged up on Saturday: "A little bit, just some little hangover stuff from my ankle, but I'm going to be fine.  I'm out here running routes 100%, I'm cutting 100%.  It's only when I get in the game it stings like that.  As soon as I walk it off, run it off, I'm completely back to 100%."


On if he feels the bad blood between the two schools: "Definitely, I know all about the rivalry and it's finally my time to put my mark on the rivalry.  I want people to remember me and this game and I obviously want the Huskies to win it so it's going to be a good one."


On getting Price back: "It's real big as you can see when he came in and all the things he did and how quick we were moving and our tempo and all that.  As soon as he gets back in the game it's kind of like a new team."

Talk about it here.

Chris Fetters:
6:32 pm

Cort Dennison Tuesday Quotes

On finishing his career out right - "We're trying to get things back to where we know they should be.  It all starts with practice.  We had a really good day of practice today, and we just gotta keep having good practices this week, stay in tune with the game plan, and come out Saturday and have a great game."

On fixing mistakes from OSU - "Just tackling…I think there were some missed tackles that can be corrected.  And then, you know, when your number is called you've got to step up and make a play.  Coaches can only do so much, and when you have an opportunity to make a play it's either you or the other guy.  That's where your competitive juices come out, and you need to make a play."

On Apple Cup week being different than the rest of the weeks of the year - "I think every Apple Cup is a fun week and an exciting week and a physical week just because it's such an emotional and fun game.  I think the Apple Cup is a great week, and we're excited for the game."

Talk about it here.

Chris Fetters:
6:15 pm

Keith Price Tuesday Quotes

On how beneficial the week off was - "It was nice. It's always nice to just rest your body and the Lord knows I needed it."

On what his season might have been if he was healthy - "I think about it every day, but there's nothing I can do about it."

On if there's any reason for him getting banged up, like running out of the pocket too much? - "No, I'm not sure."

On first Apple Cup start - "I know it's going to be a hard-fought game. I know they are going to come in ready to play, so I have to be prepared for everything that they throw at me."

On coming in at OSU - "I had a lot of fun. I thought we were going to come back and win the game. Unfortunately it didn't happen, but the team…the offense was confident in me and I was confident in them."

On reversing the trend of losing three-straight - "We just have to focus. Right now we're kind of down, but we'll get back up. This is a perfect week to get back up before the bowl game."

On being mentally ready at OSU - "I felt good. I felt good. I wanted to play the whole game. Unfortunately I wasn't able to play, but I was ready. I was locked in the game, and I was just helping Nick out."

On wanting to get in the game earlier - "I really wanted to go in, but coach didn't feel that it was best for my health."

On how his knee feels now - "It feels a lot better. I'm able to run around, stretch with the team…I'm just able to do a lot of stuff this week that I couldn't do last week."

On being able to elude pressure - "Oh yeah, definitely. It's coming back - slowly but surely."

On knowing anything about the Apple Cup growing up - "Not too much. I was more into the USC-UCLA rivalry, but this is a good rivalry to be a part of."

On if the intensity has picked up because of the Apple Cup - "We have to win this one no matter what. No matter who we're playing…we've lost three straight; we can't lose four-straight."

Talk about it here.

Chris Fetters:
4:48 pm

Washington State's Depth Chart announced


X 86 Marquess Wilson 6-4 183 So.
82 Bobby Ratliff 6-2 194 RSFr.

F 1 Gino Simone 6-0 194 Jr.
82 Bobby Ratliff 6-2 194 RSFr.

LT 79 David Gonzales 6-6 286 Sr.
69 Jake Rodgers 6-6 295 RSFr.

LG 77 John Fullington 6-5 290 So.
74 Chas Sampson 6-4 303 Jr.

C 64 Matt Goetz 6-4 270 Jr.
73 Andrew Roxas 6-2 293 Sr.

RG 72 B.J. Guerra 6-3 321 Sr.
60 Elliot Bosch 6-4 260 So.

RT 71 Dan Spitz 6-7 300 Jr. OR
69 Jake Rodgers 6-6 295 RSFr.

TE 87 Andrei Lintz 6-5 252 Jr.
88 Aaron Dunn 6-5 248 RSFr.

Z 84 Jared Karstetter 6-4 210 Sr.
18 Kristoff Williams 6-2 206 RSFr.

QB 9 Marshall Lobbestael 6-3 215 Sr.
4 David Gilbertson 6-1 201 So.

RB 5 Rickey Galvin 5-8 171 RSFr.
3 Carl Winston 5-8 200 Jr.
34 Logwone Mitz 6-1 223 Sr.

FB 37 Jared Byers 6-0 232 So.
38 Corey Laufasa 6-0 245 Jr.


RE 89 Travis Long 6-4 256 Jr.
85 Jordan Pu'u Robinson 6-4 260 So.

RT 5 Brandon Rankin 6-5 286 Sr.
98 Kalafitoni Pole 6-1 292 RSFr.

LT 61 Anthony Laurenzi 6-3 287 Jr.
90 Justin Clayton 6-4 282 So.

LE 93 Lenard Williams 6-2 250 OR
40 Skylar Stormo 6-5 260

SAM 45 Chester Su'a 6-2 226 Fr.
59 Sekope Kaufusi 6-4 236 So.

MIK 12 C.J. Mizell 6-2 227 So.
44 Mike Ledgerwood 6-1 232 Sr.

WIL 17 Alex Hoffman-Ellis 6-1 231 Sr.
42 Cyrus Coen 6-0 205

RCB 2 Nolan Washington 5-11 184 So.
30 Tracy Clark 5-11 186 RSFr.

SS 20 Deone Bucannon 6-1 190 So.
4 Anthony Carpenter 6-0 191 So.

FS 15 Tyree Toomer 5-11 199 Jr.
22 Casey Locker 5-11 198 So.

LCB 6 Damante Horton 5-10 174 So.
24 Daniel Simmons 5-10 193 Jr.


P 6 Dan Wagner 6-0 211 Sr.
46 Alex Gauper 6-4 229 Jr.

K 49 Andrew Furney 5-10 231 So.
46 Alex Gauper 6-4 229 Jr.

LS 48 Zach Koepp 6-2 238 Jr. OR
65 Alex Den Bleyker 5-10 224 Fr.

H 6 Dan Wagner 6-0 211 Sr.
4 David Gilbertson 6-1 201 So.

PR 23 Leon Brooks 5-7 166 So.

KR 17 Henry Eady 5-8 163 Fr.
35 Marcus Mason 5-9 176 Fr.

Talk about it here.

Chris Fetters:
11:35 am

Steve Sarkisian Pac-12 Coaches Teleconference Notes

On best RB they've faced all year - LaMichael James.

On defensive player that had the most impact against them in a game - Nick Perry.

On Cort Dennison wrapping up his career - Love everything he brings. His preparation is just about unparalleled. Worked his way into a starting role, has played all three position. Overachiever in every way. Leading the conference in tackles per game. Couldn't be more proud for him, deserves all the awards he gets.

On Matt Barkley and Heisman - Hard question. Probably would, but hard without studying everyone else. One of the pressures for the voters to get a good grip on that. Matt is a tremendous player and he's playing at a high level.

On his comments about taking him over Luck and vindication - Not as concerned about perception of my opinion. I was asked the question and I answered it. Don't feel vindicated at all.

On what has changed with Keith Price and his health - He's healthy enough to go entire game now. Flexibility is back in his knee, so he's got sudden movement back. He had a good practice Monday.

On the argument that if he could have played Saturday, he could start - I don't understand that. He was available to us on an emergency basis only.

On the affects of going to a bowl last year and the 15 practices - Very helpful, especially for the young guys and carrying over to the spring. Also good for recruiting, and also good for team morale. It's big. It's a big payoff for all the time and effort they put in. The opportunity to be on a national stage as a program building their way back up, it helps recruiting when you go out and perform well.

Talk about it here.

Chris Fetters:
11:15 am

Paul Wulff Pac-12 Coaches Teleconference Notes

On best RB faced all season - Haven't faced Chris Polk, think it's going to be him. In my opinion he's the best back.

On single defensive player that impacted the game the most - Probably Chaz Walker from Utah.

On shutting down Utah's running game and how they still found a way to run - They ran it 50 times. Also had one play negated, they turned it into a 50-plus yard run.

On clock running after offside penalty on Utah's last regulation drive - Yup, that's the rule. Big situation in the game, cost us time outs and time.

On Lobbestael - Just expect him to come in and run our offense. He's a vet and we expect him to get the job done.

On thinking this could be his last game - Don't think that way. Have a young team that's getting better all the time.

On Bishop Sankey decommit and recruiting as usual - We don't talk too much about it as coaches. It is what it is, don't like it. Make commitments and other schools come in - maybe I'm old-fashioned but I think it sends the wrong message. Used to be the coaches would self-police between themselves. But there's no gentlemen's agreement anymore. Never talked to Sark about it.

On Matt Barkley and Heisman? - I think he should be up there. Football team is playing very well, and he's the main reason for that. Beaten some great teams, and he's playing very well. Should be considered without question.

On Halliday's status - In a lot of pain, but everything has stabilized in the last 24 hours. The laceration to his liver was internal, so over time it's expected to heal on its own. Hoping he gets out of the hospital tomorrow. Could be anywhere from 2-4 months recovery, but his ability to play the rest of the game, it's a great story. Obviously didn't know what was going, but we already knew he was tough.

Talk about it here.

Chris Fetters:
5:32 pm

Steve Sarkisian Monday Press Conference Quotes

Gas brought the show in talking about it's Apple Cup week, but they have to unfortunately talk about the OSU game first. Buzz around town is the most disappointing loss in Sark's tenure, Sark said that if that one was more disappointing than other losses - they all hurt. Takes the same amount of effort every week to get ready. What was most disappointing is that you're supposed to win the game, and sometimes those are the most challenging ones. They knew it was going to be a real dogfight. Score doesn't indicate how close it was for a long time. Didn't execute at some opportune times to take care of things.

Gas said it's been a tough gauntlet and wonder if there was a hangover for the OSU game, and Sark said the only thing that took its toll was not having their starting QB. There was a real want to and intent to play well, but it didn't happen.

Bob talked about how ideally you'd like to have your second QB can just step in without a drop-off, and Sark said that he's sensitive toward guys making their first start. Nick did some good things, had an opportunity to throw three TD passes, but didn't happen. With Keith, made sense to put him in at that point in time to give a spark, and he did.

Bob said he couldn't believe the changes that happened when Price came into the game - completely different offense. Sark said that Keith brought a lot of energy. He was in all the huddles, and was keeping in the game mentally, so when his number was called there was no catchup. He 'turned the volume up a little bit'. That's a credit to his preparation. And it felt good. Not a knock on Nick. Wanted to emphasize running the football with Polk, he had 12 snaps the first quarter. Tried to mix in some different things. Had some bigger plays he didn't feel right about and checked them down, and I understand that.

Bob talked about the missed plays, and Sark said that they will make a lot of plays for the purple and gold the next three years.

Bob talked about how you would want to throw the ball to ASJ, because he has as good of hands as anyone on the team. Sark said when the ball is in the air like that, you start thinking about everything but making the catch because it's such a gimme. Bob said we all had a lot of compassion for ASJ in that moment, because we've all had moments like that, but it still hurt. Sark said if he catches the ball, they go up 21-17, and you don't know how that would affect OSU. That's where the frustration kicked in, because the effort was there, but in his words they are hitting it right to the other team right now - no Texas Leaguers.

Gas asked if that's nothing more than maybe luck of the draw, and Sark said that he's looking into it. Sark again brought up baseball and talked about Albert Pujols and how he didn't start out great, but he was playing good. As the season goes on, he gets hot and by the end he hits three HR's in the World Series. They are a confident team and they'll get their swing back.

Gas brought the show back talking about the details of the OSU game, getting three turnovers with no points…people are talking about the defense, and some is justified, but there's a lot more that goes into the game. Sark mentioned Erik Folk's missed. Big play was the catch by Kasen on the goal line that the OSU player is able to take away from him. Game of inches. Sark said that it's a play Kasen makes 9 out of 10 times. Seen them do it every day in practice. That's why they were so visibly upset, because they won't accept it. See them bounce back and have great games today.

Bob talked about the team reaction and tears in the locker room, as opposed to getting really angry - Sark said the point is that there's been frustration boiling. They wanted to close out Husky Stadium the right way, then they wanted to beat USC, then they let down against OSU. The challenge was to play harder than before, and they did it, but didn't happen the way they wanted to. Know the levels of stress that can mount with everything going on around them. You need to be that rock for them, and we were able to do that for them Saturday and also today. And credit to them, they practiced their tails off today. That means great senior leadership. We all want to close it out the way so that this class is known as the one that turned things around.

Bob asked about grabbing them and shaking them up and maybe getting after them - Sark said that was last week. He said if anything, the USC game was the letdown, didn't match their physicality. This last week that wasn't the case. We got concussions, stingers, and so did they. We're feeling the effects right now. But didn't get the plays made when we needed to make them.

Bob asked about injuries, and especially the guard position. Sark said the Colin Tanigawa injury hurts for a number of reasons. He plays the game tough and sound. Said that Nick Wood subbed in and did an admirable job. Justin Glenn and Will Shamburger hurt too, but get Garret Gilliland back.

Bob asked about Priceton Fuimaono getting hurt early, and Sark said to his credit he went back in because they don't have a lot of depth there.

Bob asked if Tanigawa's injury is an ACL, and Sark said he'll get with the medical staff after the show, but they're pretty sure it's an ACL. Said it was a freaky deal because he really didn't get hurt on it. Should be ready to go for next season.

Bob talked about Murphy's Law happening a lot in that game Saturday, and Sark agreed.

Gas brought the show back in with a phone call - Kevin in Washington DC. Said one of the more troubling aspects was that OSU seemed to play-call knowing that UW wasn't going to get to the QB. Wanted to know what's going on with the pass rush. Sark said he feels your frustration, and if there's one part of the game that harbors with him right now is lack of rush. Credit to Mike Riley and his staff for some good protections, but still couldn't get anything with 5,6,7-man rush. When you add more guys at the line, that means more one-on-one matchups with guys like Markus Wheaton, and that's deadly. There's no better recipe to stop a pass game than getting after the QB.

Bob also talked about the crossing game and how that takes time to develop. Sark said what happens is you pick your poison. If you aren't getting there with four, now you add more, which gives more space behind them. Or you drop back and try to cover, but they were able to find their guys that way too.

Jim on the mic - asked about soft corners. Also asked about moving the chains, and thought those had to be set before the clock runs. Sark addressed the first question - always want to play tighter in man coverage, and it's all about confidence. Haven't had enough plays to continue to gain the confidence needed. That's a challenge moving forwards. The best defenses can play tight, bump-and-run style. But if there's no pass rush, the corners lose confidence that they'll be able to hang with a WR for that long. They go hand-in-hand. For the second question, the clock starts when the official steps in and marks the ball ready for play, and the refs are expecting the chains to make it to their new marks. It's based on the NFL-based 40-second play clock.

Bob said they need more athletic chain gangs, but the point is to speed up play.

Gas brought the show with another call - Roger in Olympia. Asked Sark about the defense. Based on stats, same as a few years ago. Where do the problems lie? Sark said over the years they have lost four NFL-caliber guys - DTN, Aiyewa, Foster and Butler, as well as Nate Williams at times. They became big playmakers for UW, as well as effective in their pass rush. In turn, those same spots right now are played by young talented guys that aren't there yet. There will be, but they aren't there yet. Issues at LB and DE and now starting a true frosh at DT. Again, not for a lack of trying. At some point, the good defenses have had those playmakers step up. Some of our best defensive games - especially Utah - that's when the playmakers emerged. Don't want to get fancy or get away from what they know.

Rob in Kent - really appreciate all the work and progress you've made over the years. Another defensive question. Reality from his perspective is they haven't made improvements. Is there a scheme that isn't working with the talent, or are they buying into what they are doing? Sark said they have looked into new things - have adapted more now than ever in the past to get their guys lined up and playing fast. If you're just playing one defense, the offenses in this conference will kill you. There's a fine line as to what you can do to make sure you're putting guys in the right spots to play their fastest. Haven't hit on it yet, and that's obvious.

Bob asked about offensive evolution and if there's new things happening now than 3-4 years ago? Sark said if there's one number is third-down conversion rate. Usually good on third down and red zone. Right now opponents are converting over 50 percent of the time, so they aren't getting off the field. And drives where you can't get off the field take their toll. And that's super frustrating for players and coaches.

Bob talked about how sophisticated the defenses are, and that's not allowing them to play fast. Sark said Utah is playing really good right now, but that was one of their better games. The days of seeing 10-7 games every week are over, in his opinions.

Bob said the most impressive defensive performance was Oregon in Seattle. What they did was read a key and explode to the ball - and that was enough to disrupt things. Sark said they played excellent team defense. Two veteran safeties and two veteran OLB's. Not just good on offense, but also good on defense and special teams.

Bob talked about redshirting guys, and Sark said that they made a point of not wanting to play another 12-14 guys like they did last year. Feeney, Lawyer, Peters, Finau, Zeger are a few defensive players that he named. They'll be better for it not just next year, but for years to come.

Gas brought the show back, and he wanted to talk about the psyche of the team, as well as the coaching staff. How is everything? Sark said when you get into coaching, you get into all sorts of things…referred to it earlier today as 'psychological warfare'. Have to get the team rallied up and going again. Had a great team meeting and practice. They know what this game means to the seniors, and how it's improvement from 5-7 to 6-6 and then hopefully to 7-5. We've embraced the challenge.

Bob asked about Keith Price. Sark said he looked good, still not 100 percent, but showed some suddenness and his command and leadership is really starting to show. He's a veteran now.

Bob asked about maybe playing Price earlier, and Sark said the way the game played out probably not. With our medical staff and what we could have used him for, no. He played it again in his head after the game, and they got the ball back and had their chance to score, but didn't get it done.

Bob talked about Scott Crichton, and Sark said that he did a great job against UW Saturday, and unfortunately for them they'll have to deal with him for three more years.

Gas took one more call - said he's seen some pretty sorry teams over the years…defense wins championships and a lot of people have high expectations for Sark because of the program he came from. But one of the great plays in his mind was Emtman against two guys in the Rose Bowl. Does the defense need more talent? Sark said without a doubt. It starts with recruiting, and you have to identify playmakers on defense and what they can do for the system you run. Starts there, and then it's the development of those players as you move forward.

Gas brought the show back in and gave it to Bob, who mentioned that the women's x-country team finished second nationally. Gas said when you have to go to Terre Haute, Ind., you really have to motivate to do well there.

Gas talked about WSU and Halliday's lacerated liver, and Sark said he was glad they caught it, because those things can get serious quickly.

Gas asked about WSU and improvement, and Sark said they've got playmakers on offense and their defense is more sound and consistent, but throw the records out for the Apple Cup. This is the game that divides families and divides the state. Love the game and love that it's at Century Link. Will try and do other things besides practice this week, they'll take full advantage of the pageantry of the event.

Bob wished him good luck and wished him well in keeping his undefeated Apple Cup streak alive.

End of show.

Talk about it here.

Chris Fetters:
2:54 pm

Steve Sarkisian Monday Press Conference Quotes

Opening statement - "In a quick review of last week's ball game, the obvious frustrations and disappointments kind of remain true Sunday after looking at the film and assessing the game in all three phases. Because I really do believe that our team played hard. They played with great effort. They really tried and wanted to do well. Unfortunately, Oregon State made plays. They made some real plays, and our inability to make plays at critical moments I thought were key factors in the game - especially middle-to-late third quarter into the fourth quarter. That's when the ball game was really decided. For whatever reason that occurred, we have to get back to the point of believing in our abilities to make those plays - and that starts with me, from a motivational standpoint, from a belief standpoint. And that will be one of they key challenges for us as we move forward into this week in the Apple Cup versus Washington State. I was proud of the effort from our guys; I was proud of the way they prepared. We just have to do a better job of coaching and ultimately executing at critical moments. When opportunities came our way, we weren't able to capitalize, and when opportunities came Oregon State's way, they were able to capitalize. And so that, to me, the focus has to be…forget about the position coaches and everything else…that's on me and our guys' believing in their abilities and their ability to make plays. I've seen these same guys make plays earlier in the year, and we have to get back to that. So that's the challenge for us within the next five days, to make that happen Saturday versus Washington State.

"As far as the Apple Cup, as you guys know I love the pageantry of college football, and to play in a rivalry football game like this against Washington State is exciting and fun. We'll embrace it all the way to the full-tilt. It's a unique opportunity in the fact that this will be our first game at Century Link Field, where we'll be play our entire 2012 season, so I know there's some excitement there for our football team, as well as playing our rivals. Obviously there's a lot of bragging rights involved and different things. It's great for the fans and households get split and all that stuff. That's what makes college football so special this time of year. So we're excited about that, and we're excited about the fact that as a team that come Saturday, hopefully around 8 o'clock, we finish our third regular season together with the best record we've had in three years together at the end of the regular season. To go from 5-7 to 6-6 and then ultimately 7-5 in year three is an exciting prospect for us, and I know it's one our guys are really trying to get done."

On Washington's State's defense - "They are much more consistent. In year's past they've struggled with some injuries and they've had to shuffle fronts and different things. The consistency is there; they are believing in their scheme, and some of those young kids are growing up - I think is the biggest difference."

On WSU's offense with Lobbestael, as opposed to without him - "The scheme hasn't changed. I think when you look at Washington State this year, arguably the best football they've played this year is with Lobbestael at quarterback. And so, their schemes aren't going to change; it's the guy throwing the ball and making it happen, and Marshall has really had a tremendous season, especially early on when he was playing. I don't see a big difference in their style of play. I just think the guy who is back there throwing the ball is doing it with confidence. Fortunately for Washington State, they've had three guys that are capable and that have gone in and been able to play for them; unfortunately they've been faced with the injury bug similar to what we've had at the quarterback position that can affect the continuity of the football team. Marshall is extremely capable to come in and do some great things for 'em here Saturday because he's shown it early in the season."

On WSU's defense with Alex Hoffman-Ellis - "I think Hoffman-Ellis has been a very sure tackler. He plays the game with a great deal of energy and effort. Seems to be a leader for them on that side of the ball. And the rest of them, it's a young, athletic group. They rotate the rest of them in there. They're a little banged up at that spot, but they've created more depth at the linebacker spot for themselves. So when they have the hit with an injury or two, guys have been able to step in and play.

On the depth chart changes for this game - "Well, I think Danny Shelton's earned the opportunity to start for us. He's played really well the last two weeks, so we're giving Danny the opportunity. The Fellner at safety is really because of injury. We just don't know where Shamburger is yet with the stinger, and Justin Glenn with the concussion. We think they'll both be back, but to what degree we're not sure. And Nate played a pretty good game the other night. Felt his presence out there. At guard, obviously, with Tanigawa going down with the ACL, the natural thing right now, before we go to practice, is Nick Wood slides in at that left guard spot; I thought he played admirably the other night against Oregon State. But there are some other opportunities for guys that could step in and play. This is Monday of a game week coming off of a pretty physical game. And I think the only other couple real change is Hudson and Shirley both rotating at the defensive end spot, and just where James Johnson is with the injury, I mean, Kasen's been a starter for us for a couple weeks; it just seems right to list him as a starter rather than the –or-."

On Erik Kohler maybe going back to guard and Hatchie starting at RT - "Definitely. You're right on it. That's definitely something we could do and we have to look at this week, is move Erik into the guard spot and play Micah out at tackle. So we've just got to take a look at our options and how it looks and what it feels like."

On how Micah Hatchie played on Saturday - "He's young. Redshirt freshman. The experience comes. That was a tough task last week with Crichton coming off the edge; he's a good player. I thought Micah did some really good things. He generally does better in the games we've put him in – now he's gone against Nick Perry and Scott Crichton, two of the probably better pass rushers in our conference. As the game wears on, he gets better as the game goes on. We've got to figure out if we're quite ready for him to play 80 to 85 snaps or if he's still a possible 35-40 snap guy, if that's how he performs better."

On if Tanigawa's injury is definitely an ACL - "The MRI is actually in 20 minutes, and we'll be able to actually truly confirm it. But our doctors, and we've got some pretty good ones, are pretty clear that's what it is."

Will Keith Price start on Saturday? - "Yeah, Keith will start. He came back, looked good yesterday, just got knocked down a couple times there. One of the keys for Keith is the longevity of the game, and that was one of the reasons we decided not to start him last week, just to be able to hold up for 70 to 80 plays. That has shown to be true here. When he has gone in and played banged up, when he has gone in for 70 to 80 plays, the wear and tear of the game into the third and fourth quarters. And so we were trying to get him as healthy as we could. He looked pretty good moving around Saturday, and he looked pretty good yesterday rehabbing it. Hopefully he can have a good week of work and really play and keep the stamina and strength of the knee to where he needs it to be to really play well into the second half."

On Keith Price's leadership - "He's a tremendous leader. You know, we saw this early on, obviously -- one of the big ones was from the Nebraska game -- but Keith is a competitive young man. He is tough physically. He is tough mentally. He can endure anything that gets thrown a quarterback's way. Something I thought was unique, to me, on Saturday was -- you are trying to watch a lot of things, not just what is going on in the game -- but Keith was actually in one of our defensive huddles during a time out, getting the defense fired up. That might have been the first time I've seen that here in three seasons, where an offensive player has gone into a defense's huddle to show that type of leadership. He's natural at it. The kids really respond to it. And that's one of the reasons we put him in. We needed a spark, and I think he provided that. Unfortunately, we just weren't able to capitalize on the opportunities that were presented to us."

On Cort Dennison saying after the game, 'this is on us. this isn't on the coaches.' … - "Oh, that's just because we've got great kids on our team. I said that to them after. I love these guys. Every day they bring it. They prepare so well, they want to do so well. And that's just an example of a senior leader stepping up and saying something he doesn't have to say. They played hard. We have to continue to strive to put these guys in a position to be successful, and for them to know that they are going to be successful. And that's my challenge. And we've got to get that right this week."

So are those 'moments of truth' teachable, or either you have confidence or you don't? - "I'd like to think you can teach it -- at least I do. I don't know what other people teach or want to teach or believe in. I believe we can. And that is something that will be a focal point for us these next five days."

On dealing with the players more from a psychological basis this year than last year, trying to get them to believe? - "No, we've been on a psychological warpath here since the first day I took this job. And I don't think it's ever going to chance, quite honestly. That's just the nature of dealing with 18- to 22-year-old young men that have a lot going on in their worlds -- a lot more than just blocking, tackling, running, and catching. So there are a lot of things going on in their world. It's the challenge of finding a balancing act in their life, so that we can focus on the tasks at hand -- as well as in believing in what they are doing, believing in themselves and finding that, but not that it becomes arrogance, to where you are too confident. That psychological approach, for me anyway, from Mondays until we take the field every Saturday is ongoing. And I don't think that will ever change."

Any consistent theme to giving up first downs on third downs at Oregon State? - "Probably the most consistent theme was the lack of pass rush, quite honestly, that we weren't able to get to Mannion, get him out of his comfort zone. And a couple of them was, we were able to get the stop on third down, and they make the right decision to go for it and were able to convert a couple on fourth downs. So that, in and of itself, can emotionally take its toll on you as a defense. You think on third down, OK, we're off the field -- ah, nope, they are going for it on fourth down and now they convert those two. We were right there a couple of times, coverage-wise, and they fit the ball in there. And Wheaton's making a great catch on one of them right across the middle. But the most common theme was we weren't able to get to the quarterback, or at least to be able to move the pocket and affect those throws."  

Anything you can do to get a better pass rush? - "Well, we'll continue to look to it. Even going back to some of the stuff we've done in the past to where we don't rush as many guys and we deploy more into coverage, and understanding, hey, the pass rush might not be there but you can cover better with more cover guys deployed and then mixing it with some pressures and different things and making sure that when we are pressing the right guys are going, and that we attacking protections of what they like to do. So a lot goes into it. And every week's different, because every team is different and every offensive philosophy and approach is different. Washington State is a lot different offense than Oregon State, completely different. Hopefully we can find some things, scheme-wise, that we like -- and also in some matchups where we can win some one-one-battles." 

What are the keys to success for a defense that you have said earlier this year is based on a system that has withstood the test of time? And what is missing from it right now? - "We're not getting off the field. What was disappointing in last week's game to me, from a head coach's standpoint, forget that I call the offensive plays (I would like to), our defense forced us three turnovers and we didn't turn any over those turnovers into points – two of which came with pretty good field position. This is a team game. When defensive schemes work are when offensive schemes are working. When you turn those turnovers into points and now Oregon State is playing from behind instead of playing ahead maybe they try a little harder and now we can create even more turnovers. It goes hand and hand. But ultimately, if you want to get off the field and not let people extend drives. You gotta pressure the quarterback and we haven't been able to do a good enough job of that."

  Were you prepared for everything that Oregon State showed on Saturday? - "We knew exactly what was coming on both sides. Again, I sit here and I think and gosh I look at the scoreboard and think jeez, we didn't play well. The reality of it is. It's 14 all, they are up 17-14, we potentially have a touchdown pass that's incomplete to go ahead in the third quarter. We're kicking a 38 yard field goal with an All-Pac-10 kicker and Erik misses one that is uncharacteristic of him. It's a tie game at the beginning of the fourth quarter. There were opportunities there for us. I just know we are better than that. So that gets back to me and my ability to make our guys feel confident in their abilities to go make plays at critical moments. They should feel confident. And we'll get that point across to them and do a good job of it this week."

On Nick Holt talking about simplifying things this week, and if that means there was some confusion on the defense Saturday? - "I didn't see confusion per se. I think what's Nick's talking about is what we talked about as staff. We just want to make sure we are giving our players the best chance to play fast and furious football. Not that we were wrong on calls, but I don't know necessaritly that when we were right, we were playing as fast as we could, even though we were right. There may have been some hesitation there. That is something we are definitely look9ing at this week. Just to ensure the fact that we are allowing are players to be as athletic as fast as physical as they can be, when know they are right."

What kind of problems does Marquess Wilson present? - "Obviously the big play ability that he possesses. We've been susceptible to the big play this year.  So that's the firs problem he poses: his ability to create big plays, whether it's the deep ball he's so good at catching or converting  the short pass into a big play./ that's the biggest of concern is when he gets one on one matchups, he can create big plays for the offense."

  On being able to keep Price healthy - does that now work toward your advantage? - "It sure did. I thought he looked great yesterday in his rehab session. As we move into this week's game, I would imagine that without the wear and tear of banging on that thing, the swelling is back to normal and back to where his knee should look normal. I think he will feel fresh. I think the knee and his confidence in the knee and his ability to make plays will not only affect his body, but his mind. He will feel better."

On Washington State's progression from when Sark was at USC to now - "Oh ... immense progression honestly. I think that it appears that the players, the belief in what coach Wulff is doing has grown and grown and grown, whether it's offensively or defensively. They've obviously instilled some playmakers onto the football team with Wilson, with Galvin at running back, with the quarterback play and different guys in there. And so I think that's one of the biggest challenges as your trying to build a program and to consistently get guys to believe in and play confident and they definitely do that. We're all going to have our moments where we have setbacks and don't play the way we wish we would play every week. But I think overall that has been one of the biggest things you've seen from them is they play confident, they play hard, they believe in what they're doing and that early on I think it was hard to do. You inherit a football team that's not all your guys, you come with a different style, a different brand a different approach, but I think Paul has done a nice job of building that. I'm sure he'd be the first one to tell you he would like there to be more wins to show that, but when you watch the film it's evident they've gotten better."

On how the team is doing right now - "Again, as typical on Monday's I'll know more come 1:30 when I get with them. But I just think our kids want to play well and they really want to do well and I just want to make sure with them they want to do well and play well for the right reasons and that's for themselves individually, for their teammates in that room and their coaches and for our fans quite honestly. And that's the concern that they're not doing it for some other reasons and that's what is making them feel disappointed. If they're disappointed because they want their teammates to feel good about winning a game and they felt like they could have done more, then that's OK and we can get over that and we'll build from that. The point to it is they care and that's a good thing, that's not a bad thing. They want to really do well, they want to win, we just have to coach and play better for that to happen."

On the coaches needing to change things up - "I always look at things different, whether that's a good thing or bad thing. I always look at things from different angles and access things, positively and negatively because change is inevitable. You're either getting better or you're getting worse in a lot of different areas. Constantly I'm looking at things from a motivational standpoint, from a scheme standpoint, from a recruiting standpoint, and so I don't know if it's any harder. I don't think because we lost last week we're going to coach any better this week or were going to work, I'm going to work 14 more hours this week than I normally would. I don't know if I could do that physically. I think you can look at things differently to try and understand why to hopefully get better and I think we owe it to our players to do that. They work as hard as we ask them to work and we're trying to work as hard as we ask ourselves to work to get to the common goal of winning. To do that I only know one way. There is no  magic button, no magic dust to sprinkle on it that all of a sudden it's just going to happen.  You have to work hard in this thing."

On Tanigawa's injury affecting UW's ability to run in-between the tackles - "I don't know how much not having Tanigawa effected what we did. Obviously he has had a very good redshirt freshman season and was having a very good game up to that point and it really was a freaky injury. He didn't even get hit. You don't see that very often, especially with linemen wearing knee braces and all that. He turns and the knee gives out on him. I do think it was a concerted effort by Oregon State to understand what we were doing. And if the game is 17-all in the fourth quarter or we're up 21-17 you're going to see Chris get more carries. But when you blink and next thing you know you're down whatever it was, 30-something to 14 you've got to throw the ball a little more than you wanted to from the overall game plan standpoint."

On how Bishop Sankey got to UW - "Well, we had been recruiting Bishop pretty consistently from springtime and so for about a year it was pretty consistent and I think it's a real credit to coach (Joel) Thomas for developing a nice relationship with Bishop and his family and then when the opportunity came for Bishop to come on his official visit he fell in love. He fell in love with the players, with the campus, the community and felt like this was the right place for him.''

On if he has any qualms about continuing to recruit a guy after he's committed, or is that something you just have to do? - "In this day and age, yeah. Guys are still recruiting our players so you have to be prepared for it. If you don't, and another school takes a running back of yours two weeks before signing date and you don't have another one there, you end up signing no running backs and so until the NCAA changes the rule and has an early signing date that is the game that we are all playing in right now. Do I like it? No, but if you don't play the game, you get beat.''

On if Wulff understands that that is how the game is played? - "I'd imagine so. Nobody really says a whole lot about it. It's pretty common right now. And until we change the rules to have an early signing date it's going to go on. I know the kids that we have committed to us right now are getting actively recruited by other schools so you've got to be prepared for it, you've got to contingency plan.''

On if the defense has gotten better this year - "You know it's funny when you watch our defense and you are watching the film, in a lot of aspects we have gotten better. When you watch the game the other night it's a gain of two, a gain of one, a gain of three, a gain of four, and then it's a gain of 50, a gain of 30, a gain of 29, so consistently, yeah, I think we are getting better. But our ability to eliminate big plays still hasn't gotten to the point to where we need to be ultimately a really good defense. It just hasn't happened yet.''

How would you compare this year?'s defense to last year?'s defense? - "Well I think we?re different. I think we had a guy who was a really good player on defense last year named Mason Foster who made a lot of plays for us. Whether it was rushing the passer or making plays or making plays in coverage or Victor Aiyewa, and I think we?ve had a little bit difficult time replacing that playmaking ability that Mason and Victor brought. That when we needed to get a sack, it felt like Mason got us a sack, and so now those same two spots we?re playing with a true freshman and a true sophomore and it?s just going to take time. That?s just the reality of it is. You can?t say this guy Mason Foster, who?s potentially going to have an All-Pro season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and now here?s a true freshman playing the same spot. To expect the same results is crazy. So it?s going to take time. Do I wish we were better? Sure. But the reality of it is, let?s go win Saturday and we?re 7-5 and that?s a better record than we had at the end of last season."?

?On getting to know Century Link Field - "We'?ll go to CenturyLink and do a walkthrough over there on Friday, but that?s about the extent of it. We'?ll go over there and try to get the surroundings of what it?s like. The only thing I know and will talk to the team about is the field?s 100 yards long, it?s 53 1/3 yards wide and it?s green with white numbers, and we?'ve got to play."?

?Does Garrett Gilliland have a chance to play? - "We'?re hopeful. He just could'?t get the strength back in the shoulder from the stingers and just could'?t get cleared to play."?

Did Tutogi take his spot for a while? - "What we did, Princeton got nicked up pretty good so we moved Tutogi to middle backer and Cort Dennison slid over to the WIL spot."?

?Were you surprised that some of the players cried after the game? Most fans would think with that must frustration, the team would want to punch a hole in the wall - "No, I?m not surprised. We?'ve got an awesome group of kids. I love these guys. I really do. Nobody wants  to do well, nobody wants to win more than they do. And I?'m sorry if that offends any of our fans. Nobody wants to play more and better and win more than those kids in that locker room. They pour their heart and soul into this thing and that?s a credit to them. I think that?s why it hurt me so much after that game because I know the challenge that was posed to them. I know how hard we played. It just didn'?t play out that way. I think that?s where there frustration kicks in for them and for me, is because for those guys, I know what they put into this thing emotionally, mentally, physically and they want to do well. They really really do. The mistakes that have been made by us as coaches, by them as players is not for lack of want to.?

Did Keith try to convince you to go in the game? - "No, not once. Not once."

Talk about it here.

Chris Fetters:
1:56 pm

UW Weekly Depth Chart Released

Washington's Depth Chart vs. Washington State


WR - 15 Jermaine Kearse 6-2 208, Sr., Lakewood, Wash./Lakes
19 DiAndre Campbell 6-1 195, RFr., Oakland, Calif./Oakland Tech

LT - 56 Senio Kelemete 6-4 301, Sr., Seattle, Wash./Evergreen
72 Micah Hatchie 6-5 285, RFr., Haleiwa, Hawai'i/Waialua

LG - 52 Nick Wood 6-3 303, Sr., Poway, Calif./Poway
70 James Atoe 6-6 337, RFr, The Dalles, Ore./The Dalles-Wahtonka

Center - 73 Drew Schaefer 6-4 301, Jr., Sammamish, Wash./Eastlake
78 Michael Criste 6-5 280, RFr., Mission Viejo, Calif./Mission Viejo

RG - 79 Colin Porter 6-4 322, So., Bothell, Wash./Bothell
67 Skyler Fancher 6-6 301, Sr., Costa Mesa, Calif./Huntington Beach OR
70 James Atoe 6-6 337, RFr, The Dalles, Ore./The Dalles-Wahtonka

RT - 75 Erik Kohler 6-5 298, So., Camarillo, Calif./Oaks Christian
59 Ben Riva 6-6 300, RFr., Seattle, Wash./O'Dea

TE - 88 Austin Seferian-Jenkins 6-6 258, Fr., Fox Island, Wash./Gig Harbor OR
84 Michael Hartvigson 6-6 254, RFr., Bothell, Wash./Bothell
80 Evan Hudson 6-6 260, RFr., Bothell, Wash./Bothell

QB - 17 Keith Price 6-1 195, So., Compton, Calif./St. John Bosco
10 Nick Montana 6-3 203, RFr., Thousand Oaks, Calif./Oaks Christian
6 Derrick Brown 6-3 236, Fr., Winchester, Calif./Vista Murrieta

FB - 42 Tim Tucker 6-1 240, So., Harbor City, Calif./Narbonne
48 Jonathan Amosa 5-11 230, Jr., Seattle, Wash./Rainier Beach

TB - 1 Chris Polk 5-11 222, Jr., Redlands, Calif./East Valley
24 Jesse Callier 5-10 200, So., Downey, Calif./Warren
25 Bishop Sankey 5-10 193, Fr., Spokane, Wash./Gonzaga Prep

WR - 9 Devin Aguilar 6-0 195, Sr., Denver, Colo./Mullen OR
8 Kevin Smith 6-0 209, So., Compton, Calif./Centennial

WR - 2 Kasen Williams 6-2 212, Fr., Sammamish, Wash./Skyline
3 James Johnson 6-1 198, Jr., Valley Center, Calif./Valley Center


DE - 92 Everrette Thompson 6-6 272, Sr., Renton, Wash./Kennedy
11 Talia Crichton 6-3 255, Jr.,Lakewood, Calif./Lakewood
93 Andrew Hudson 6-3 231, RFr., Redlands, Cailf./Redlands East Valley

DT - 74 Alameda Ta'amu 6-3 337, Sr., Kent, Wash./Rainier Beach
71 Danny Shelton 6-1 334, Fr., Auburn, Wash./Auburn
97 Lawrence Lagafuaina 6-0 329, RFr., Aiea, Hawai'i/Aiea, Hawai'i

DT - 71 Danny Shelton 6-1 334, Fr., Auburn, Wash./Auburn
55 Sione Potoae 6-2 276, So., Fort Lewis, Wash./Lakes
98 Semisi Tokolahi 6-2 334, Jr., Hilo, Hawai'i/Hilo

DE - 93 Andrew Hudson 6-3 231, RFr., Redlands, Cailf./Redlands East Valley OR
22 Josh Shirley 6-3 229, RFr., Fontana, Calif./Kaiser

OLB - 10 John Timu 6-1 220, Fr., Long Beach, Calif./Long Beach Jordan OR
58 Jamaal Kearse 6-2 224, RFr., Lakewood, Wash./Lakes
43 Cooper Pelluer 6-3 225, So., Sammamish, Wash./Skyline

MIK - 31 Cort Dennison 6-1 234 Sr., Salt Lake City, Utah/Judge Memorial
50 Thomas Tutogi 6-1 244, So., Chula Vista, Calif./Southwestern JC
42 Tim Tucker 6-1 240, So., Harbor City, Calif./Narbonne

OLB - 37 Princeton Fuimaono 6-1 215, So., Long Beach, Calif./LB Jordan OR
53 Garret Gilliland 6-0 226, So., Anaheim, Calif./Orange Lutheran

FS - 29 Nathan Fellner 6-1 201, Jr., Fresno, Calif./Clovis West
13 Will Shamburger 6-0 192, So., Compton, Calif./St. John Bosco
20 Justin Glenn 5-11 206, Jr., Mukilteo, Wash./Kamiak
14 Taz Stevenson 6-1 203, So., Mililani, Hawai'i/Mililani

SS - 1 Sean Parker 5-10 202, So., Los Angeles, Calif./Narbonne
13 Will Shamburger 6-0 192, So., Compton, Calif./St. John Bosco
5 James Sample 6-2 191, Fr., Sacramento, Calif./Grant
39 Greg Walker 5-10 203, Jr., Bellflower, Calif./St. Bernard

CB - 28 Quinton Richardson 6-0 203, Sr., Renton, Wash./O'Dea OR
18 Gregory Ducre 5-10 173, So., Los Angeles, Calif./Crenshaw

CB - 6 Desmond Trufant 6-0 184, Jr., Tacoma, Wash./Wilson
26 Anthony Gobern 5-11 187, Jr., Fair Oaks, Calif./Del Campo
21 Marcus Peters 5-11 185, Fr., Oakland, Calif./McClymonds


Punter - 94 Kiel Rasp 6-3 225, Sr., Seattle, Wash./Nathan Hale OR
46 Will Mahan 5-11 196, Sr., Bakersfield, Calif./Bakersfield College

PK - 17 Erik Folk 5-11 185, Sr., Woodland Hills, Calif./Notre Dame

Long Snap - 60 Brendan Lopez 6-0 231, Sr., Bellevue, Wash./Michigan

Holder - 27 William Chandler 6-0 191, So., Sammamish, Wash./Skyline

KOR - 8 Kevin Smith 6-0 209, So., Compton, Calif./Centennial
24 Jesse Callier 5-10 200, So., Downey, Calif./Warren

PR - 9 Devin Aguilar 6-0 195, Sr., Denver, Colo./Mullen OR
2 Kasen Williams 6-2 212, Fr., Sammamish, Wash./Skyline

Talk about it here.

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